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IDNR fish surveying in Shorewood


Dick G
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On Friday I ran into Bob Rung conducting a fish survey of the Dupage River for the state. He and his associate were collecting fish from the dam in Hammel woods to about a mile downstream.When they came back to their put in spot, I talked with them as they recorded the length and weight of the fish they had shocked. Here is a very unscientific summary of some of the information I gleaned.

1)The river is so rich in nutrients that their batteries could barely produce enough of a current to stun any fish outside of a one foot radius from each of their metal probes. The river was like "wading in copper wire" because of the ions in the water. They saw many more fish than they could stun and net.

2) The top gamefish in the river by numbers is the smallmouth bass. But a very close second is the channel catfish. They actually collected more catfish than smallies on this day, because the bass were better able to swim away from the electrical current, while the catfish were more stationary. The biggest catfish was about 5 pounds, while the 4 largest smallmouth were in the 14 to 17" range. Smallmouth at 20" are rare on the Dupage.

3) A distant third in numbers was the rock bass. A few bluegill-sunfish and one largemouth rounded out the sport fish.

4)Carp and suckers were the most plentiful of all the types of fish brought in. They were big. The largest carp was 29" and aqbout 15 lbs. The neatest looking fish in carp-sucker tub were the hog nosed suckers. They had a pronounced light and dark shading on their bodies that gave them a tropical fish look. There were also a few creek chubs measured.

5)Bob's favorite fish were the two mad toms they captured. They were a nice pumpkin lure color, and not black like I thought They would be. They are not baby catfish, I was informed, but a separate species.

6) There are a few flatheads and pike in the river, but they are rare.

7)Some of the carp and catfish were kept for further study on contaminents in their tissue. Bob suggested eating no more than one fish a week from the Dupage. The results of their findings are put up on their website.

 

 

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Here's a picture of a snake making a meal of a madtom that I took on the DuPage in early summer 2007.

 

15duzjn.jpg

 

 

I knew there were guys who were catching some cats on the DuPage but I never would have guessed that there were nearly as many as there were smallmouth. I never caught any even by accident. Never even saw one as far as I could tell. Interesting.

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The cats they were shocking were in the deeper holes under the bridges and by the dam.

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